cinema:tamil reviews




Moderate Manohar approached the end of the corridor with much hesitation, in his hands was an envelope, the fine-ness of it indicated its foreign nature. As the door creaked to an open, he could see Caustic head down on the table, the room only filled with the soft electronic buzz of an unsaved word document.

“CK, the appointment has come….” Began Mod quite loudly.

MM: CK, the appointment has come!

CK: huh…what?

MM: the appointment from Chicago Sun Times, it came in the mail just now.

CK< widens smile>: IS it? Wow when are we leaving?

MM: Not we.

CK: huh?

MM: It’s only me they want, as in…they can only accommodate me right now.

<A little background here, CK and MM quite fed up with their lives in Chennai had applied for the post of resident movie reviewers in Chicago, although CK was sceptical about working abroad, he finally realised its importance and was quite looking forward to it, now everything had just fallen flat for him>

CK took a moment, or maybe even shorter than that to recover and went ahead and patted MM on the shoulder.

CK: “Great, you are taking this up right?”

The room was again filled with MM’s hesitation and the soft electronic buzz.

Some higher power intervened in the form of the editor who barged in unannounced like he owned the place, in fact he did.

Aye Sinamika Tamil Lyrics – OK Kanmani

“CK!MM!, OKK review on my table, fifteen minutes, already every major media and everyone with a Facebook account has already written a lot about it. We shouldn’t miss out.” The editor walked out with the same pace.

MM: Let’s discuss the movie first, later perhaps…

CK: Nevermind…whenever it suits you.

MM: Should we start with the bit about how bold Mani Ratnam is, making a film on live-in relationships?

CK: No….this isn’t about that, I mean at least I feel so, it isn’t.

MM: Should I wait for you to tell what’s it about?

CK: It is about validation of love, this whole live in relationship thing is to keep it all contemporary and all that… you know like that skype call and the iPad song

MM: So contemporary that they have T.M Krishna’s latest book “A Southern Music” in the shelf somewhere in PrakashRaj’s house

CK: Understandable, considering the fact that Leela Samson plays an Alzheimer’s affected Carnatic singer, oh my god their walls are the same colour as the zari of the Kanchipuram sarees that these singers wear for concerts, so much richness. Also Thanjavur painting, it is the stuff upper middle class dreams are made of

MM: let’s come to the production design bits later, let us get back to the validation of love part, I think that this is a new concept, the exploration of live-ins

CK: ..Mod, that’s what the director wants you to believe, to linger on the surface, the whole movie is about Tara and nobody else. Tara is the updated version of the Mouna Raagam Revathy.

MM: hmm..wild, willing to break rules and attracted to rash lover boy types and bored with domesticity etc…

CK: exactly, but she is also in a way the Agni Nakshatram Nirosha, not giving a damn because of a troubled past. Tara here hates marriage because her parent’s divorce affects her even now.

MM: But she falls for Aadi….they both fall for each other.

CK: Yes, but she never thinks much of him, atleast he is thankfully never full of himself, he just says “he will become rich like Gates etc”, she doesn’t think much of his game development career also when compared to her overtly passion filled love for architecture, she really doesn’t want anything serious.

MM: so when she really does realise she loves him anyway, he is about to go and he has already done something, but still she will only want him to say it. < “Marriage”>

CK: Yes enough instances to prove that this is a Tara fuelled relationship and not a flirty boy meets serious girl cute love story. First call back, first kiss even, all initiated by Tara.

MM: I see…where this is going, but what about Bhavani and Ganapathy, where do they actually fit in?

CK: they are clear examples for Tara to believe that a traditional relationship can work, she seems to be the one who is most affected by the happenings in their lives. Again a validation that she requires for secure love, in the end she isn’t clear about her career.

MM: So this is how is it going to be written? I mean this line of thought?

CK: What other is there? Isn’t this plain as daylight?

MM: No…no…what about the actors? The setting…the music and PC’s camera work, he seems to have let out this beast of a camera on this couple and the writing itself?

CK: Isn’t it what the others will also be saying? Mumbai trains and rains, mornings with pigeons flying, tastefully lighted blanket interiors and characters who alternate between sophistication and words of yore (“ummanamoonji! Kadavul”), the director’s insistence that friends of protagonists be as beautiful as them, etc, isn’t it what the others will also be writing or already written? OK we can write such stuff as well.

MM: Hmm..yes I think, I haven’t read any of them…in totality I liked the film, even from this love-validation-security angle you are coming from

CK: that’s the only angle I like the film from, and also Nitya Menen’s eyes.

MM: Surely we will throw in a bit about Nitya Menen’s eyes and what about Mani Ratnam’s comeback?

CK: What about it?

The editor walked in again, looked at the manuscript and said, “Throw in a few words about Nitya Menen’s eyes and about Mani Ratnam’s comeback, also meet-cute love story of our times etc”

MM: Yes sir, it’s there

Editor: Good, good Manohar, so this will be your final filing for my magazine…congrats on your appointment in Chicago. As for you CK, you are stuck with me for life.

CK: That, I am, sir.

CK went back to his table to file the final copy, but in the ruckus that the foreign appointment had created, he forgot to mention that the video game within the movie had a more interesting storyline than the movie itself and about The Shining reference he had caught in the film.

It was at this time MM said, “We need to talk”

cinema cinema:english Essay





While the subtitle clearly explains what this piece is going to be about, it shouldn’t be treated as one specifically but more like an opening of a door or say a slight window of opportunity into what obsessions mean or lead into.

While the heading as a whole might sound like a paper left behind at a medical seminar, this writer thinks that these two documentaries are in fact quite similar on things that this writer holds close and is yet quite unclear about. The products of Obession, if there are any.

Passion is a word that is heard almost every day, it is the pretty sister of Obsession whom everybody somehow wants to marry, while poor Obsession is forced to settle for bearded men with complex thoughts.

Stating passion in your CV would get you a job, may be even earn you some amount of momentary admiration, but obsession is a sort of practising the dark art, to delve deep into the abyss and may not come back.

In a sense, obsessions are not about results; to put it further the result of your obsessions is not the concern, it is more about why one is taken to some things so quickly.

Jodorowsky’s Dune is about one such obsession of one man to make a film on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune, ok it is more about how he could never make it.

While viewers may be concerned with the fact that this project goes under fancy tags like “the greatest movie never made” and how even prototypes created by Jodorowsky’s team still continue to inspire the movies that we continue to see on screen.

It is a year, well before Star Wars was even thought about; Alejandro Jodorowsky goes all over the world on a spiritual quest recruiting artists and actors for Dune. It isn’t about the spiritual nature of the content, but what strikes is that Jodo really believes that this movie is his calling, more than once calling it a messiah and not a movie.

And this is when he hasn’t even read the source material, one can only wonder from where such conviction comes from in a creative process.

It also leads to questions like how perfect were Jodorovsky’s visions in his head as part of this creative process, surely there must have been some moment that would have brought out that conviction, now that the movie has never been made and that a vision is lost forever; what use is a creativity then?

The only inference that I can relate to is that beyond the real life limitations stated explicitly in the documentary (like studio executives, money etc) there was some limiting factor that has not been accounted for, this non-starter of a project was big blow for the director and he could hardly make the movies he wanted to.

While the passionate rant against money in the movie is infectious, the director has still not been able to recover personally (even if he does say he has); also the fact about how great a film could have been, can never be taken for granted when the movie has never been made.

It is always a problem when there is one man and his emotions is in the center of it all, it also does not help when one thinks that this amount of obsession has gone into a mass of nothing.



The background research is staggering and all well to see, now being contained to about a thousand page picture books which details shot by shot drawings by the artist Moebius.

While Jodorovsky’s might be the center of his obsession (he does call it his Dune and not Herbert’s), here is another documentary on the reflections of a film made by a man who wanted anonymity a good part of his life.


Rodney Asher’s Room 237 is something like nothing this writer has seen before, a compendium of theories put out by viewers on seeing Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film The Shining.

These aren’t the superficial ‘like and don’t like’ movie writings that we get to see on social media, but by people who have slotted part of their lives to watching the Shining again and again and again…and again.

While it is easy to argue that too much of repetition ultimately leads to theorising, it cannot be done so while you are dealing with a film by Kubrick.

Theories range from stringing a collection of visual in jokes and the way how Kubrick has played around with our head, but then you keep going a level deeper and deeper after every viewing.

For one person, The Shining is a lament on the killing of American Indians to establish ‘civilisation’ in the USA.

For another it is Kubrick’s never ending preoccupation on the holocaust and that Shining is an even more fitting movie about it than Schindler’s List.

The Shining also is viewed from multiple points as a comment on history itself and the collecting remembering and forgetting of history, Room 237 is about all these things and much more, but a common thread that resonates is that The Shining is no mere shocker.

Let’s leave all that and come to how beautiful to see these anonymous men and women all over the world for which this movie means something that is undefineable, an obsession here but also a pointer towards their lives or how they want to live.

A rare art that means so many different things to so many different people, a rare occasion in which a movie can actually turn your thinking process by the head; Room 237 is not about how great a movie The Shining is, but really about what Kubrick was trying to say by making it, which no one really has any clues about

The makers of the documentary also acknowledge that this might be a search in the dark, but by trying to uncover the mind of the maker these people have found new meanings for themselves and more new questions.

It is also telling about how good you are when your real genius lies in elevating the thinking of countless unconnected people by really not trying other than making a movie in 1980.

As the tagline of Room 237 goes “Some movies stay with you forever and ever…and ever.”